Difference Between Automatic And Semi Automatic Washing Machine

A washing machine is one of the most commonly used and essential appliances in every Indian household in the present day. Most of us can’t even imagine the time when our great grandparents would wash clothes by their hand or even the concept of a dhobi.

However, if you have gone to buy a washing machine, you would have faced many confusing questions like the different types of washing machines available in the market, their function, and which one is ideal for your household.

Today, we will discuss fully automatic and semi-automatic washing machinestheir features, pros, cons, and differences. The article aims to give a better understanding to enable you to buy the one ideal for you.


What Is A Semi Automatic Washing Machine?

Semi-Automatic Washing Machine

The first set of washing machines that came out in the market had this design. A semi-automatic washing machine isn’t completely automatic like all the recent ones available. This means that manual labor is involved, but the good part is a semi-automatic washing machine is a top-loading washing machine; so, you need not bend down every time.

This washing machine has two compartments – a washtub and a rinse tub. The washing tub is for washing, while the rinse tub is for rinsing and drying (removing the water from the clothes). Unlike a fully automatic washing machine, we have to fill it with water manually, but the plus point is that we can decide the amount of water we need. Hence, it saves a lot of water that usually goes to waste.

After this, we need not interfere till the wash cycle is complete. Once the process is over, we have to manually transfer the wet garments to the rinsing tub, where the drying happens.

Pros – 

  • This washing machine is cheaper than a fully automatic washing machine.
  • We have to pour the required water into a semi-automatic washing machine manually. Hence, there is no need for a continuous flow of water.
  • The water requirement is less so the wastage is also less.
  • This washing machine weighs less; hence it can easily be moved from one location to another.
  • A semi-automatic washing machine consumes less power.
  • It is one of the only washing machines in the market that is comparatively eco-friendly.


Cons – 

  • This washing machine is not fully automatic, and most of the controls are manual.
  • More manual labor since the clothes need to be moved manually to the rinse tub.
  • Since it was the initial model, it is not as effective as a fully automatic washing machine.
  • It requires more storage space since this washing machine has two compartments.
  • Higher chances of getting shocked if the wiring in the house is not proper.


What Is A Fully Automatic Washing Machine?

Fully Automatic Washing Machine

As the name suggests, this washing machine is fully automated, i.e., zero human effort is required. An automatic washing machine comes in two models – front-load and top-load. This washing machine only has one tub that’s used for all the processes ranging from washing to drying.

Since it is automated, it automatically fills in the water after you load the clothes in and set the wash cycle. Few washing machines in the market uses specialized technology by which the machine automatically selects the wash cycle after sensing the load inside.

Compared to the previous washing machine, it has more washing cycles like quick wash, hot/cold wash, spin dry, timer, auto-select, pre-soak feature, bubble wash, steam wash, and child protection program. A fully automatic front load washing machine has specialized programs and features suited for delicate fabric.

Since it has only a single tub for washing and drying, it does not occupy much space like the semi-automatic washing machine. A fully automatic washing machine is more effective as it uses superior technology and has specialized features and programs. Even though the initial cost of a fully automatic washing machine is high, the running price is lower.

Pros – 

  • This washing machine is fully automated, i.e., there is no human effort required.
  • It is energy efficient and does consume a lot of time.
  • Compared to a semi-automatic washing machine, the cleaning performance is better and quicker.
  • It runs on modern technology.
  • It has an additional feature that lets you select the desired program.
  • Unlike the semi-automatic washing machine, it does not have dual tubs. So, it does not require a lot of storage space.


Cons – 

  • It is not as cheap as a semi-automatic washing machine.
  • Since water is not manually added, it needs to have a continuous water connection.
  • Continuous water connection means higher water consumption and wastage.
  • The power consumption is also high.


Front Load And Top Load Washing Machines

As mentioned before, a semi-automatic washing machine comes only in a top load washing machine model. However, a fully automatic washing machine is available as both front load and top load washing machines. Before we understand the difference between a semi-automatic and fully automatic washing machine, let us discuss front and top-load washing machines.

What Is A Front Load Washing Machine?

Front Load Washing Machine

The drum for the front-load washing machine sits horizontally; that is, you need to put the clothes through the front side of the washing machine. Unlike a top load washing machine, this washing machine has more features and programs like timer setting, hot/cold wash, bubble wash, steam wash, advanced child protection, etc.

Even though the drum rotating speed is higher for a front load washing machine, less noise is producedOther perks include less water and electricity consumption, but this is not your ideal washing machine if you have frequent back pains. This is because you must keep bending down to load and unload the clothes.

Pros – 

  • Since the electricity consumption is less, the running cost is also comparatively less.
  • Drum rotating speed is more compared to a top load washing machine.
  • It has more wash programs and cycle settings.
  • Since it has a more specially designed feature, it is more effective in cleaning.
  • It is suitable for both delicate and regular clothes, i.e., it is not rough on any clothes.


Cons – 

  • Since it has more features, the initial cost is higher than a top-load machine.
  • Unlike the top load washing machine, you cannot add in clothes mid-way.
  • Not ideal for people with back pain or the elderly.


What Is A Top Loading Washing Machine?

Top Loading Washing Machine

Unlike the front load washing machines, the drum of a top load washing machine sits vertically. So, the clothes are loaded through the top side of the washing machine. Both semi-automatic and fully automatic washing machines have top-loader models. Unlike the front load washing machine, a top load washing machine is cheaper, economical, and easier to use. 

Pros – 

  • It is cheaper than a front-loading fully automatic washing machine.
  • Comparatively lighter, and so it is easier more from one place to another.
  • Clothes can be loaded mid-wash.
  • It has a faster wash cycle than a front-load washing machine.
  • Ideal washing machine for people suffering from chronic back pain.


Cons – 

  • It does not have all the features and programs that a front-load washing machine has.
  • Compared to a front load washing machine, it does not clean as effectively and is rougher on the clothes.
  • Since it does not have all the features like a front-load machine, it is not suitable for all cloth types.
  • Not all top load washing machines have a built-in heater.


Differences Between A Fully Automatic & Semi-Automatic Washing Machine

Now, let us looks at the key differences between a fully automatic and a semi-automatic washing machine.

Sl. No. Area Of Difference Fully Automatic Washing Machine Semi-Automatic Washing Machine
1 Functioning (Manual Effort) This is a fully automatic washing machine, i.e., no manual labor is required. You just have to put the clothes in, pour the detergent and select your desired program, and the washing machine will automatically function. This washing machine is only semi-automated. You need to manually fill in the water, pour the detergent, and drain the water. After the washing process, you must manually transfer the clothes from the washtub to the rinse tub for rinsing and drying.
2 Number Of Tubs A fully automatic washing machine has only one tub. The washing and drying process is done in this tub. It has two separate tubs- washtub and rinse tub. After the washing process, clothes have to be transferred to the rinse tub for drying.
3 Loading Type It can either be a front load washing machine only a top load washing machine. A semi-automatic washing machine comes only in the top-loading models.
4 Water Requirement And Consumption In a fully automatic washing machine, there needs to be a continuous supply of water. So, the water consumption and wastage are high. You only need to fill the washing machine once with water. So, the requirement for water is less; hence the consumption and wastage is also less.
5 Power Consumption Power consumption is more. Power consumption is less, and it is more eco-friendly.
6 Efficiency Or Wash Quality It is more efficient since a fully automatic washing machine has more wash programs. A semi-automatic washing machine isn’t as efficient at cleaning compared to a fully automated one.
7 Wash Programs Or Cycle Setting It has more wash programs to facilitate all other wash needs. Some of them include pre-soak, quick wash, spin dry, etc. It does not have as many programs as a fully automatic washing machine.
8 Size, Weight, And Storage Space Even though it is smaller and requires less storage space, it is heavier than a semi-automatic washing machine. It cannot be easily moved as it weighs more. It is bulky since it has two compartments, so it requires more storage space. However, it weighs less than a fully automatic washing machine. It can be easily moved.
9 Price Even though the initial amount you spend on it is high, the running cost is low. It is the opposite of a fully automatic washing machine, i.e., the initial cost is less while the running cost is more.


Also Read:

How To Use An Automatic Washing Machine?

How To Use A Semi-Automatic Washing Machine?



In almost all aspects, a fully automatic washing machine is better than a semi-automatic washing machine. However, if you are low on budget and do not mind putting in extra effort, you can always opt for a semi-automatic washing machine.

I hope you found this article helpful. Do let us know your thoughts and doubts in the comment section below.

Founder at Best Indian | Website | + posts

I am tech writer who is passionate about technology and spearheads the core writing team on tech news

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